Life

Should you go shopping on Black Friday?

By  | 
TORONTO - NOVEMBER 29: Shoppers visit the mall in Toronto, Canada on the Black Friday, November 29, 2013

Image: Canadapanda / Shutterstock

The festivity and gratitude of Thanksgiving is becoming increasingly drowned out with the growing popularity of Black Friday. Call it a frugal frenzy or greedy businesses, but every year, it takes the nation by storm. Stores begin advertising their sales and deals at the beginning of November, playing up people’s stress to get their holiday shopping done ahead of time. They bombard you with emails and mail and TV ads until it consumes the mind. Some stores even offer their sales beginning Thanksgiving night, no longer restricted to the 24 hours of Black Friday. Thanksgiving is put out of your head; all you care about is being first in line to get that new technology, or that pair of shoes, or that steal of a grill. Isn’t it ironic how the day after we spend being grateful for our families and our blessings that we run rampantly mad through malls, trying to beat out fellow shoppers for the best deals? Is it really worth the drama, the late night/early morning crankiness, the pushing and shoving to save a few dollars per item?

If you’re struggling with whether or not to go shopping this year on Black Friday, here’s a list of pros and cons list to help you out.

Pros

  • You can try things out before you buy. Try on that sweater, sit on that couch, fluff that pillow. Make sure you enjoy the item before purchasing it untested from the Internet. Also, you may miss out on a sale if it’s not offered online.
  • It’s a social outing. Bring your family members or girlfriends and make a night of it! It gets you out of the house, you can bond over the experience, and it’s more fun to shop with other people. They can give you opinions on what you’re wanting to buy and help you pick out the best deals.
  • Stores will offer you incentives to come in on Black Friday. They’ll do free giveaways, they’ll advertise special prices for the earliest hours of the day, or offer you prizes for being one of the first x-amount of people in the door.
  • The best deals you can get are usually on electronics. You can save hundreds of dollars on TV’s, computers, cell phone accessories, and gaming systems. If you’re in the market for new electronics, it can be very worth your while to go out on Black Friday.
  • It’s really satisfying to take advantage of the deals offered on Black Friday. It’s a great chance to stock up before Christmas parties, get early shopping done, and know that you’re still saving money. It’s also fun to just be a part of the collective movement.
  • There is certainly an adrenaline rush that happens when you’re among the first to rush into a store and grab at all the deals. It keeps you on your toes and engaged with what’s happening around you. It’s not hard to stay awake with all the surrounding frenzy. It can be a real thrill and victory if you get to a product first.

Cons

  • Many stores will offer the same sales online. You can shop from the comfort of your couch and pajamas, without waiting in mile-long lines and still get the same deals.
  • The crowds are insane. Everyone is in everyone else’s way. People get angry and annoyed easily. People are sensitive because of the time of day (usually late Thursday night or really early Friday morning, to get the best deals). Fights can even break out if two people want the same item.
  • It’s no longer a one-day thing. You can get Black Friday deals on Thursday, Cyber Monday, or sometimes for the whole month of November, depending on the store.
  • Sale items are of a limited quantity or time frame. If you’re not among the first, or if they’ve run out of the product, then all your waiting and aggravation has been for nothing.
  • Some deals might not be as good as you think. You should do research before purchasing an expensive item on Black Friday. Some retailers will increase their prices of that item before Black Friday, so when you think you’re getting a deal, you’re really just paying the original price.
  • Potential trampling or violence is always a possibility. Though unlikely, some people will go crazy after these deals and aren’t afraid to fight for them. Also, you can get caught up in the frenzy around you and buy anything on impulse instead of because you actually want/need that item.

Kaitlyn is a graduate from Lee University and is a staff editor for R.H. Boyd Publishing. She enjoys travel, books and penguins. When she's not working, she dreams of seeing the world.